While everyone goes digital today, many companies and businesses go digital too so that they can reach a broader range of audience. However, there are still some vague terms for non-traditional marketing. Many social media strategists use the two terms digital marketing vs online marketing interchangeably.
There is a fine line that differentiates digital marketing and online marketing. This is an important knowledge to identify in order to create a clear understanding especially when negotiations between the social media strategist and businesses are being done. It also shapes the overall non-traditional marketing strategy for an effective ad campaign.
Digital Marketing vs Online Marketing: The Fine Line
As mentioned, both terms are often misused and interchanged. In fact, even the people who have been in the industry for quite some time are still confused about which one should they write, online or digital? So, what is the difference between digital marketing and online marketing?
In order to develop a clear understanding, each term will be defined, and the advantages of each will be enumerated.
The phrase “digital marketing” is an umbrella term that refers to all digital devices, channels, and platforms to construct or promote advertisements and other marketing messages. It doesn’t necessarily need to be online or on the internet to convey its message. As an umbrella term, it encompasses various marketing strategies.
For example, a client downloads an app or game on his mobile phone. This is done using the internet via App Store or Google Play. This app or game is created with technology.
However, once it is already installed on the phone, it independently works from the internet. Therefore, the app or game is considered a kind of digital marketing.
Another example is the SMS campaign where the digital marketing strategist can send SMS blasts to clients or customers about the latest promotions or products. The technology was utilized to create and convey the message, but it does not require an internet connection to complete the action.
As the technology evolves, the digital marketing evolves too. It is also correct to think that an ad that is made through technology and has a digital foundation is a form of digital marketing.
There is a wide range of digital marketing strategies being used today. Among them are the following:
- Mobile marketing or SMS ads
- Television ads
- Content marketing
- Games or apps
Digital marketing can be utilized by various businesses regardless of size or types. It is a cost-effective way to provide mass access to the products or services being offered or promoted. Among the other benefits of digital marketing are the following:
- Can reach the global range of audience
- With a properly planned digital marketing campaign, it can reach the target customers at a cost that is lower than the traditional marketing and online marketing.
- Businesses can track and measure results of the digital ads through web analytics and other online evaluating tools.
- Allows a business to create engaging ads based on various demographics of target customers.
- Comes with rich media content that best matches different user interests
Online marketing, also referred to as internet marketing, is a subcategory of digital marketing. The principal characteristic of online marketing is the use of an internet connection so it will work and be accessed by the target audience. Pay-per-click or PPC ad campaigns are an example of online marketing.
The pop-ups that run on the websites are also considered online marketing. These pop-ups usually contain messages about the latest promotions or services that the business has. The same is true with display ads, such as text ads or banner ads, which run across the internet.
Both digital marketing and online marketing evolve with technology. However, online marketing progresses exponentially over time making it quite challenging to keep it up. For start-up businesses and beginners, online marketing is overwhelming because it requires more technical knowledge and skills.
Among the examples of online marketing are the following:
- PPC such as Google Search and Bing Search
- SEO or website optimization
- Social media marketing such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
- TV specifically the Google Display Network
- Display ads like image, text, video and shopping ads
One major advantage of online marketing is the ability to immediately evaluate the effectiveness or impact of a particular online platform such as the number of clicks each post receives, how visitors interact with the updates, and the time the followers are most active in using social media. When the visitors become paying clients or customers, auxiliary analysis can be performed to identify the channels that are most effective at converting audience to customers.
By analyzing the experiences from a web or mobile application, the following analytics can be determined:
- The channels which are effective at gaining and directing a higher number of customers on a lifetime basis. An example is the email marketing that initiates repeated purchases.
- Types of customers or demographics that have solid engagement and a higher chance of purchase.
- Online marketing platforms that are most cost-effective at attracting customers and the cost of each customer based on the online marketing ad campaign.
Which Is Better?
Which between digital marketing vs online marketing is better entirely depends on the business goals and capacity. Based on the abovementioned advantages of each type of non-traditional marketing, businesses can identify which one is appropriate for them.
However, many digital or online marketing strategists admit that the difference between digital marketing and online marketing doesn’t matter. It is only a matter of technicality. The more important factor to consider is the implications of each marketing strategy when creating a general marketing plan.
The most important way to create an effective ad campaign is to strategize. Regardless of which marketing strategy you choose, you need to determine the results you want, the concrete plan on how you would achieve it, and more.
Once you have evaluated your current business and determined the goals, you will know if you should focus on digital marketing or online marketing, or stick with traditional marketing. Each business has its own goals, strengths, and weaknesses, so make sure you focus on them before developing an effective marketing strategy that best addresses your business.